Government dating laws
Consumers must evaluate the quality of the product prior to its consumption to determine if the product shows signs of spoilage. Open dating is found on most foods including meat, poultry, egg and dairy products.
"Closed or coded dates" are a series of letters and/or numbers and typically appear on shelf-stable products such as cans and boxes of food. There are no uniform or universally accepted descriptions used on food labels for open dating in the United States.
EPA is called a regulatory agency because Congress authorizes us to write regulations that explain the technical, operational, and legal details necessary to implement laws.
But, you have an opportunity to provide input on almost every regulation before it is finalized.
Viruses are not capable of growing in food and do not cause spoilage.
There are two types of bacteria that can be found on food: pathogenic bacteria, which cause foodborne illness, and spoilage bacteria, which cause foods to deteriorate and develop unpleasant characteristics such as an undesirable taste or odor making the food not wholesome, but do not cause illness.
Research shows that this phrase conveys to consumers that the product will be of best quality if used by the calendar date shown.
Foods not exhibiting signs of spoilage should be wholesome and may be sold, purchased, donated and consumed beyond the labeled "Best if Used By" date.